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Lebanon's Prime Minister Omar Karami March 17, charging "falsified" reporting, said the Information Ministry will monitor all news reports and relay inaccurate ones to a special prosecutor's office for investigation. A television report had charged that the salaries of the prime minister, house speaker, ministers, and deputies had been raised by 300 percent - 180 percent above the legal raise of 120 percent. UNITED STATES

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Consumer prices rose a moderate 0.3 percent in February, the Labor Department reported March 17, citing higher food and clothing costs. Construction of new homes and apartments rose at the strongest rate in a year during February, at 9.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.304 million units, the Commerce Department said.... The White House asked members of President Bush's Cabinet who are former members of the House of Representatives to review their financial records to see whether they had bounced checks at

the House bank. JUSTICE

Salvadoran officials said that two rebels accused of killing two US military advisers last year would not be extradited to the US for trial. The leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front said it would hand the two suspects over to the Salvadoran courts March 23. EUROPE

Albania, still suffering both violence and poverty, goes to the polls March 22 for elections that could end the Communists' 48-year grip on power.... The first commonwealth space mission of the post-Soviet era blasted off March 17. A Soyuz-TM spaceship carried two Russians and a German toward the Mir space station.

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